Warehouse management entails having oversight of warehouse operations. Receiving, tracking, and storing inventory are all part of warehouse management. It also includes staff training, shipping management, tracking the movement of goods, and workload planning. A warehouse is a commercial building that is used to store goods; thus, warehousing includes the proper storage and handling of goods and cargo in the warehouse using scientific methods. They are also made easily and smoothly available whenever they are required.
The importance of warehouse management
According to several studies, only a small percentage of warehouses are efficient, highlighting the importance of warehouse management. Warehouse management can be accomplished by hiring a warehouse manager to oversee all processes and/or installing warehouse management software to automate all processes. We’ll look at some of the most common warehouse management issues.
One of the many causes of warehouse accidents is a poorly planned warehouse layout. When your warehouse layout and supply flow are optimised, management and workers have a better understanding of where goods are going and coming from, lowering the risk of accidents caused by traffic or improperly stored goods.
With rising customer and client expectations, inventory tracking is becoming increasingly important in warehouse management, reducing the room for human error.
Failed deliveries waste time and money, and physical checks to correct errors that result in delayed shipments and mispicking waste even more.
With most warehouses performing multiple operations in multiple workflows at the same time, it becomes increasingly likely that some actions, such as sorting, will be repeated unnecessarily, increasing labour costs and taking up time you don’t have.
Automation can make the process more agile and faster by removing unnecessary or obsolete steps, ultimately improving client experience and lowering costs.
Best Warehouse Management Practices
If your company is doing well, you’ll need more storage space. It is usually a fulfilment centre, distribution centre, or warehouse. You can begin by purchasing land, leasing a facility, hiring employees, acquiring equipment, and acquiring customers who will buy from you- but nothing stops here. Proper warehouse management will determine the success of your business. It makes no difference if you have a modern, state-of-the-art warehouse if it is not managed properly. If you do nothing to improve warehouse management, you will be left with underperforming employees, low-profit margins, and high operating and logistic costs. As a result, you will have poor customer relations. Below are some practices you can adopt to improve warehouse management.
1 - Inventory Management
Inventory tracking entails keeping track of stock levels to determine which SKUs you have in your warehouse and where they are stored. This includes knowing whether the products are in transit from the manufacturer or on their way to the store. If a customer orders an item, inventory management enables you to know how much product is already prepared and ready to ship. It also tells you when, based on projected volume, you should order more products. As you expand, you will most likely be turning over inventory much faster, expanding to new locations, and expanding your product lines. This ensures inventory accuracy and allows you to track what is essential.
2 - Picking and Packing
Picking and packing are two of the most important and necessary functions carried out in a warehouse. A warehouse management system should generate pick lists for each picker to retrieve products as efficiently as possible. This will include wave selection, zone selection, and well batch selection. For each new order, the picker will be given a packing slip with the order’s location in the warehouse. After that, the picker will collect the ordered products from their designated locations. After the order is picked, it is given to the packer. The packer is in charge of securely placing the products in the box or poly mailer, adding any packing materials, and applying the shipping label.
3 - Reporting
A warehouse management system must be capable of providing out-of-the-box inventory as well as operational reposts throughout the warehouse. This could include order fulfilment accuracy, total orders completed in an hour to measure staff efficiency, orders shipped on time, and much more. Some reports are about people’s operations, such as inventory forecasting. This aids in understanding labour management and staffing requirements. With warehouse management tracking systems in place, you can quickly determine which employees have completed safety training. Those who have licences and certifications to operate specific tools and equipment, as well as other regulatory requirements required to operate a safe warehouse.
4 - Cloud-based management system
Stop using Excel warehouse management and start using cloud-based warehouse management. This is an extraordinary and game-changing decision. Unlike locally installed applications, cloud-based warehouse management programming allows you to pay for the features you require now and update as needed later.
You’ll pay a single, predictable membership fee for the “package” that best meets your specific feature requirements and team size. When your company’s growth warrants a more impressive stage, updating is only a couple of clicks away.
Cloud software companies work quietly in the background to ensure that things continue to run smoothly. They will have a support team ready to assist you if you need answers to your questions or repairs.
5 - Assign Your Company’s Talents Appropriately
Having talented people in your company is a plus, but failing to assign them to their proper locations can be a mixed blessing. One of the most important aspects of warehouse management is allocating resources to the best location. You must understand which talent is best suited for which allocation and where it can produce the best results.
To identify your best personal placements, you must first create talent grids, align them to the most developed profiles, and then position people accordingly. This will not only help to improve the efficiency of your operations, but it will also make your employees more successful, which will boost their morale. You must not only bring in the right people, but you must also be able to assign them the right roles to maximise their abilities.
You’ll never be perfect, so don’t strive for it. Aim to be a little better than you were the previous month or year. Always evaluate what you’ve been doing, and how it’s going, and see if there is anything you can test or change. Maintaining close contact with your warehouse management will assist you in clarifying the situation in the event of an emergency. It would be beneficial if you prioritised your warehouse and visited it frequently.
Article submitted by: Tony Davis, Founder & Chairman, Dovetail Business Solutions